THE First Minister has said that she would be “making things up” if she were to say the same things about Scotland’s Covid route map as Boris Johnson has said about lockdown easing in England.

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced an “irreversible” route out of lockdown. If no delays occur, this will lead to a near complete lifting of restrictions south of the Border on June 21.

Although Johnson has cautioned that the date is not final, he has also said England is on a “one way road to freedom”.

Speaking at today’s live coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said she “literally would be making it up” if she were to tell Scotland the same.

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However, she said if England is able to deliver such a date, she cannot “see that Scotland would be much behind”.

The First Minister said: “It’s not that I think by the time we get to a point where England is definitely ending all restrictions that Scotland will be massively behind. There would be no real reason for that.

“The difference is I don’t feel that I can stand here, maybe the Prime Minister knows things I don’t but I think that’s unlikely, in relation to the virus, I don’t think I could stand here right now and say June 21 with any certainty.

“I literally would be making it up, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

She went on: “I would love to think it was June 21 and if we all want to circle that in our calendar as an aspiration to aim for I’m not saying don’t do that, but I can’t stand here and look at that camera and say that I’ve got advice that tells me that that is something I can say with certainty.

The National:

“If by then England is able to deliver that, I can’t see that Scotland would be much behind. The difference here is how far out I feel comfortable offering you assurances.

“Now, the Prime Minister can make his own judgments on that, but I’m trying to be as clear and as frank with people about what I do know, and what I still don’t know. That is the position that I am taking.”

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She added: "If I was to give you a fixed, hard and fast date right now, I would pretty much be making it up and I don’t think that’s the approach I should take with you.

“I’m not ruling out any specific dates. I want it to be as soon as possible and we have every reason to be hopeful that come the summer life will be much, much, much better than it is just now, but when I stand here and give you what I think the actual date when all or most restrictions will come to an end is going to be, I want to be as sure as I can be that is real and it can be delivered.”

Speaking after confirming Scotland has recorded 47 deaths from coronavirus and 798 positive tests in the past 24 hours, she said the Scottish Government’s updated framework for easing restrictions focuses on the next six weeks as “that’s the timeframe that right now we can be most confident about”.

The First Minister said there is uncertainty over how the more infectious virus strain will behave once restrictions are lifted and the impact of the phased return to schools will be particularly scrutinised in this regard.

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She said: “My hope is that the more we learn about the impact of the early changes, the more confidence we will then have that we can go further and faster, without risking a resurgence of the virus that would set us all back. In the meantime, we will move forward carefully.”

Sturgeon also announced care homes should be supporting up to two named visitors for each resident from March 1, where possible, and Scottish Government guidance on this “very important way forward” will be published on Wednesday.

The First Minister opened the briefing with a further update on the daily coronavirus figures, announcing the daily test positivity rate is 3.9%, down from 4.8% on Tuesday.

There are 1018 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 58 in 24 hours, and there was no change in those in intensive care which remains at 93.